A visiting golfer from overseas was driving a golf buggy near to the clubhouse after his round when it appeared that the accelerator pedal jammed. As a result, the buggy smashed through six or seven sets of clubs awaiting their owners’ collection, and into the wall of the clubhouse, causing considerable damage to the golf club sets, the clubhouse and the buggy.
Luckily, no-one was hurt, only the driver was rather shaken up. Quite a crowd quickly gathered and a potentially difficult incident was avoided as the visitor took the sensible approach and agreed to pay up immediately for the damage. The Golf Club denied all liability, saying that this was clearly stated on a notice in the Pro shop. In any case, if a farang (foreigner) is involved in any sort of accident in Thailand, he is almost always held to be in the wrong. The (sort of) logic seems to be that the accident could never have happened if the foreigner had not been here!
I heard afterwards that the visitor, again very sensibly, was covered by a golfer’s insurance policy and his insurance company agreed to cover most of the costs.
All golfers run the risk of injuring another person or adjacent property when on the golf course. No matter how good a player you happen to be, you are liable if you cause injury to a fellow golfer.
In an other incident, a caddy of a golfer (this time a client of Golfasian) drove the golf cart at Red Mountain in Phuket over the edge of the buggy track and damaged the cart and our client’s golf clubs. Again no one was hurt, but the golf course denied all responsibility, sacked the caddie, and told the golfer that the caddie should pay for the damage. Fortunately, only the golfers putter was broke and insurance not only paid for a new replacement, but also covered the costs of a rental for the remaining rounds played while still in Thailand.
Despite this, the overwhelming majority of golfers still lack golf insurance for the course.
Put into perspective, golf can be a very expensive game if it all goes wrong – and the more often you play, the more likely it is to occur. We always recommend to clients of my Thailand golf vacation company that they invest in a good travel insurance policy, and also take out golfers’ insurance. There are a host of golf insurance companies offering golfers suitable financial protection.
On the whole, golf insurance will cover for theft, loss or damage to your equipment. By way of the cover, you are financially protected if you severely damage property or seriously injure another person. You are even covered for the resulting damage of any untoward slices that head for the vicinity of the club car park.
Better still, some golf insurance firms will bestow a cash reward if you net a hole-in-one during competition, meaning you needn't the foot the clubhouse drinks bill entirely on your own. It may also be a good time to find out whether your clubs are insured when sitting in the back of your car or someone else's. What about lying outside the changing rooms? Should your clubs be a named product on your golf insurance? The golf club here in Thailand, nine times out of ten, will not be insured to cover loss or damage to your equipment.
So, on your next golfing holiday in Thailand, don't forget to adequately cover yourself, because all the money you save by paying the reduced green fees etc. we enjoy here, could easily be wasted funding somebody else's legal bill.